Brennan’s, New Orleans.

March 2017.

We had brunch on a warm sunny day at this moderately high-end classy place. The restaurant is indoor/outdoor, located in a renovated 19th century mansion on upscale Royal Street, the main floor a complex U-shaped space surrounding the courtyard made inviting with foliage, terra-cotta tiles, dark green detail, and big rectangular umbrellas. The upstairs which we didn’t see hosts private dining events.

Once we were seated outside, staff were welcoming and colloquial if (some of them) a bit on the fey affected side. We started working on a bottle of pinot gris and ordered an oyster salad to share followed by an eggs benny-like creation featuring lobster and crab. Service cadence was if anything a little speedy.

Not a natural salad person, I was quite happy with the butter lettuce-dominated oyster item, nicely divided in the kitchen between the two of us. Two flour-dredged little fried oysters were fresh, crisp, and tasty. The dressing seemed to have been laid down first at the bottom of the plate and expressed itself only halfway through the salad, but nicely, a thin sour remoulade that blended with sliced white onions under the lettuce.

The eggs were perfectly cooked, set on wilted spinach and a crisp fried hockey puck of chopped lobster and (I think) crab possibly perked up with fennel or another herb. Overtop was a hollandaise variation again perfectly sour and a lovely contrast to the other elements.

The menu was interesting with lots of egg dishes rounded out by the dozen or so other inviting choices. Overall price at-expectation and generally soothing and classy if just a wee bit on the self-important side style-wise. However pleased we were, I reflected that the world is full of eating places like this one where some of the charm and the very good food is offset by a mild but distinct sense of being just a little bit too pleased with itself.

Food 8.7, service 7.9, ambience 8.2, value 7.7, peace and quiet 7.8.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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